Pear Tart with Ginger and Vanilla

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By Nancy Buchanan



by Nancy Buchanan on November 17, 2011

When your family doesn’t like pie (and that  definitely includes pumpkin pie) figuring out dessert for Thanksgiving can be a bit “challenging”.  To be honest, as much as I love pie, after all the turkey, potatoes, cranberries, green beans, squash, rolls and other assorted side dishes a heavy dessert really doesn’t do it for me. While my boys are thrilled to have this  Pumpkin Bourbon Bundt Cake for dessert, I crave something a little lighter – preferably with fruit.

Asian Pear Tart BC2 Pear Tart with Ginger and Vanilla

So, when Melissa’s Produce offered to send me a case of Korean Pears, well, I couldn’t say “yes please!!” fast enough!! I am a bit of a pear fanatic – during the winter months when they are in season it is not unusual for me to eat at least one pear (in addition to an apple) everyday.  I first discovered Korean Pears a few years ago  and have been hooked ever since. But I had never cooked with them and I couldn’t wait to try them in some of my favorite recipes – and in some new ones!!

korean pear brown Pear Tart with Ginger and Vanilla

The first thing I made was this  Pear Tart with Ginger and Vanilla  that I’d been wanting to try – it features a phyllo dough crust with a light filling of ricotta and I thought that the firmness of the Korean Pears would be perfect in it – and I was right!! This is, hands down, one of the BEST tarts I’ve ever made and for me it’s the perfect ending to Thanksgiving – or just about any other meal!!!

If you’ve never tried a Korean Pear (also known as an Asian Pear) well, I’ll be blunt. You should. They are crisp and have a beautiful, light almost floral flavor to them and are truly perfect not only for baking in tarts but are also amazing in salads – toss some baby greens with a little white balsamic vinaigrette and top with thinly sliced Korean Pears, a little blue cheese and some toasted pecans!!

But before you make that salad, well you’ve got to make this tart!!!

Asian Pear Tart BC3 Pear Tart with Ginger and Vanilla

Pear Tart with Ginger and Vanilla

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

45 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Adapted from Donna Hay. For this recipe I used Athen's Phyllo dough and the sheets are approximately 9 x 14 inches. If you use another brand, you can either cut the sheets in half (to approximately 9 x 14) or you can make a larger tart - if you choose to do that, double the filling ingredients and increase the pears to 4! Also, this tart should be eaten the day it is made to preserve the crunchiness of the phyllo. You can assemble the filling ahead of time and make the honey ahead as well. Then all you need to do is assemble the tart which goes together very quickly.


  • 1 - 16 oz pckg. of phyllo dough, thawed according to mfg's instructions
  • 1 cup good ricotta cheese - preferably home made
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • 1 Tbsp. minced candied ginger
  • 1/4 cup superfine sugar plus 2 Tbsp.
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 Korean pears, sliced into 1/8 inch thick slices
  • powdered sugar (for dusting
  • Vanilla Honey:
  • 1/4 cup good quality honey
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped OR 1 tsp. vanilla bean paste


  1. Pre heat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease a sheet pan and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, lemon zest, ginger, 1/4 cup sugar, vanilla and the egg. Whisk to combine. Set aside.
  2. Place one sheet of the phyllo dough ont he sheet pan and brush with the melted butter. Top with another phyllo sheet and brush with butter. Repeat until you have 8 sheets of phyllo stacked. Using a spoon, dollop the ricotta filling down the center of the phyllo, leaving a 1 1/4 inch border all around. Place the pear slices on top of the ricotta, overlapping the slices. Fold the edges of the phyllo up and over the pear slices. Brush the pears and phyllo with the remaining melted butter and sprinkle with 2 Tbsp. of the superfine sugar.
  3. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes until the phyllo is golden brown. Remove from oven and cool.
  4. While the tart is baking, in a small saucepan combine the honey with the vanilla bean or vanilla paste and warm over low heat for a few minutes. Remove the vanilla bean.
  5. To serve, slice the tart and place on plates. Dust with a little powdered sugar and drizzle with the vanilla honey.
 Pear Tart with Ginger and Vanilla

PinExt Pear Tart with Ginger and Vanilla


{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

Robert November 17, 2011 at 8:42 am

Looks like a great dessert recipe for Thanksgiving… thank you Nancy!!!


Nancy November 17, 2011 at 8:46 am

Thanks Robert! It truly is fabulous!!


Carolyn November 17, 2011 at 12:38 pm

That is a beautiful tart! I’ve never seen korean pears like that, but love the round shape. What great flavours!


Nancy November 17, 2011 at 6:32 pm

Hi Carolyn!

Thanks – if you can find the pears I recommend them – definitely firmer than most pears with a lighter flavor!!


Lucy Lean November 17, 2011 at 12:45 pm

Delicious Asian pears – never cooked with them but now I have your recipe I will – usually slice them up and kids gobble them down!


Nancy November 17, 2011 at 6:30 pm

Oohh… I do that too!! Had a hard time resisting when I was making this!!


Barbara | Creative Culinary November 17, 2011 at 12:49 pm

Love everything about this Nancy…pears, ricotta, phyllo. Really glad you did not recommend that homemade; some things will never be happening in this kitchen and homemade phyllo dough is one of them!

Ginger is a newish friend. Mostly because I’ve come to know the wonderfulness of the real thing. Like I said…love EVERYTHING about this!


Nancy November 17, 2011 at 6:30 pm

Thanks Barb! Yeah, homemade phyllo dough is not my favorite thing to make and since I don’t have a dough sheeter it won’t be happening in my kitchen either!!!
The ginger really works in this too!!!


Marla November 17, 2011 at 2:41 pm

This tart looks heavenly. I adore pears with vanilla :)


Nancy November 17, 2011 at 6:29 pm

Me too Marla!


foodwanderings November 17, 2011 at 4:18 pm

Ooh nancy, so sublime. Pears, ginger what’s not to like. Believe it or not I have never baked or had Asian pears before it’s about time. I also love aything phyllo dough. Happy Thanksgiving!


Nancy November 17, 2011 at 6:29 pm

Same to you Shulie! You definitely should try an Asian pear – they are delicious!! They also are firmer than other pears and so are great to bake with!


Allison [Girl's Guide to Social Media] November 17, 2011 at 7:57 pm

I agree. After a Thanksgiving meal I could certainly go for a light fruit tart. This looks delicious!


Valentina November 18, 2011 at 12:48 am

ooh, i love these pears! what a gorgeous tart! and yes, looks like a delightful end to a Thanksgiving feast!


Nancy November 18, 2011 at 8:44 am

Hi Valentina!! Thank you!! This tart is really good – it was even better than I thought it would be!!


HeatherChristo November 18, 2011 at 6:45 am

Nancy- pear tart is in my top 3 desserts of all time. I have never baked with the asian pears, but it seems I have been missing out! I will totally give this gorgeous tart a try!


Esi November 18, 2011 at 7:31 am

What a beautiful tart. I generally prefer fruit desserts if I indulge.


Nancy November 18, 2011 at 8:45 am

Hi Esi!
Thanks! I love chocolate, but after a heavy winter meal, I really want something lighter, preferably with fruit!


Katherine Martinelli November 20, 2011 at 12:50 am

This is just beautiful!! Although I do love pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving, this is definitely a gorgeous, elegant alternative. I love ricotta in tarts and with Korean pear and ginger – just yum.


Priscilla - She's Cookin' November 20, 2011 at 11:31 am

Lovely tart, Nancy! For once, we may not have the requisite pumpkin pie – my husband is the only one that feels its a necessity! I think this is a lighter, elegant alternative and I happen to have a few Korean pears myself :)


Nancy November 20, 2011 at 3:14 pm

This is a great way to use the pears Priscilla – this truly is so good!!


Georgia Pellegrini November 20, 2011 at 5:10 pm

Beautiful tart, Nancy. A great alternative to pie!


Nancy November 21, 2011 at 7:47 am

Thanks Georgia!! It’s my new favorite winter dessert!


Leisa November 21, 2011 at 2:14 pm

It makes my mouth water just looking at it!


Nancy November 21, 2011 at 4:50 pm

Awww… thanks Leisa!!!


Magic of Spice November 21, 2011 at 3:55 pm

I love Asian pears…lucky girl! And what a pretty tart, would be great as a holiday meal addition :)


Nancy November 21, 2011 at 4:49 pm

Aww… thanks!!! I think this is now my favorite winter tart!


Lentil Breakdown November 28, 2011 at 8:21 am

Oooh, yes please! I have a brand new long tart pan the size of the phyllo that I’ve never used and a bunch of D’anjou pears. I have a hunch those would work as well.


Nancy November 28, 2011 at 8:48 pm

The d’Anjou’s would work perfectly in this tart!! I was thinking that this would also be good with a traditional tart crust as well… the ginger cuts the richness and I the vanilla infused honey is pretty addictive!


Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence November 28, 2011 at 2:05 pm

Beautiful presentation. Is there a particular recipe you use for homemade ricotta?


Nancy November 28, 2011 at 8:35 pm

Awww.. thanks Brandon!! The ricotta recipe I use is 1 qrt of milk, 1/2 cup of cream, 1 cup buttermilk, 1 Tbsp. strained lemon juice and 1/2 tsp. salt. Combine the milk in cream in a large pot. Combine the buttermilk and lemon juice in a small bowl. Add this to the milk, cream mixture and heat over low heat to 175 degrees. Only stir twice while the mixture is heating. Continue to heat to 190 degrees. Remove from heat and let sit for 10-15 minutes. Ladle curds into a cheesecloth lined strainer. Make a pouch with the cheesecloth ( I tie mine to a wooden spoon handle) and let drain to desired consistency.


Tammy @speckleofdirt November 29, 2011 at 9:42 am

The photographs looks amazing for this tart. I just bought the dough yesterday, in addition to puff pastry, and your recipe looks like a “must try!” I pinned this on Pinterest as well!


Nancy November 30, 2011 at 8:05 am

Awww… thanks Tammy!!! Hope you like the tart – it truly is an easy one to make!


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